Kamal Saleem is one of a number of Middle Eastern faces, who is currently profiting off of the cottage industry of Islamophobia with his “ex-terrorist” turned holy roller road show.
Saleem claims to be from a Lebanese Sunni Muslim family, which is a descendant of the “Grand Wazir of Islam,” and that he was a terrorist with the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO). Furthermore, Saleem states that his terrorism affiliation with the PLO inspired by Islam and the Muslim Brotherhood ended after receiving the “Holy Ghost” and accepting Jesus Christ (Peace Be Upon Him) in his life. Saleem’s story like his other wannabe “ex-terrorist” comrades, however, just does not add up.
For starters as author Chris Hedges points out, there is no such title as the “Grand Wazir of Islam.” Saleem’s “Grand Wazir” lineage claim is also bizarre due to the fact that the adjective “grand” would not be used in front of the term wazir (advisor) to begin with. Even the title “Grand Wazir” was not bestowed upon Aaron (Peace Be Upon Him), who was a prophet and the wazir of Moses (Peace Be Upon Him) according to the Qur’an!
It’s also very interesting that Saleem claims to have been a terrorist inspired by Islam as a member of the secular, Marxist influenced PLO, whose long time executive committee member and long time spokeswoman, Hanan Ashrawi, was a Christian. Saleem wants us to believe that Ashrawi, George Habash and the countless others from Christian backgrounds in the secular PLO were also inspired by Islam as he claims was his “terrorist” motive in dealing with the pesky problem of illegal Israeli occupation.
Furthermore the Muslim Brotherhood, who Saleem claims he had dual affiliation with, was averse to the secular, Marxist leaning PLO during the time that he claimed to have been a member. In fact, it is also well known that the Muslim Brotherhood inspired Hamas was supported by Israel to be an “Islamist” counter to the secular PLO/Fatah. To this day, Hamas and the PLO have been at odds with each other to the point of killing each other in the streets of Palestine in recent years. Hence, Saleem’s claim of being an “Islamist” terrorist in the PLO while having felicity to the Muslim Brotherhood is utterly preposterous.
The reality is that Saleem has made a nice career for himself collecting honorariums, writing a book and getting exposure from the hyper-Islamophobic Aramaic Broadcasting Network (ABN) since the tragedy of 9/11. If he were indeed an “ex-terrorist,” I’m sure that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) would have deported him by now for fraud because people with terrorism ties cannot get entry visas much less obtain American citizenship. And the FBI does not simply let “ex-terrorists” walk the streets because they claim to have received the “Holy Ghost” without detaining them for questioning. Changing idelogies does not absolve persons under American law from terrorism ties that they admit to.
The unfortunate part about Saleem’s bogus career is not his snake oil peddling but that there are so many individuals who do not care about the truth and lack intellectual honest that provide him a platform.